Karan Johar has found himself at the receiving end of flak from the LGBT community for his ambiguous disclosure. In his biography titled An Unsuitable Boy, Karan spoke at length about his sexual orientation without saying the ‘three words’. But his self-portrayal of the poster boy of homosexuality in India has irked the LGBT. They feel that a person of Karan’s stature should have stood up and openly spoken about it.
Many belonging to the community said this act of My Name Is Khan director has reinforced fear in the minds of those who wished to come out of the closet. Pallav Patankar, an LGBTQ activist, told a tabloid that if an uneducated person from a village would’ve done something like this, it could’ve been acceptable—but not from Karan.
He should be coming out as an empowered and powerful individual, and actually make a difference for those helpless people living in villages. People who were earlier considering coming out will now sit and think twice, worried that an FIR might be involved — but this is baseless. You won’t be arrested for coming out.
In the excerpt of the book, Karan spoke about being jailed if he spoke the three words. His reference could have been to section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalizes homosexual intercourse. However, this section doesn’t criminalise sexual orientation, which is probably why KJo’s step didn’t go down well with the LGBT community. Pallav said:
We have taken enough pangas for the community. Even if he ends up landing in jail, we will come out in support, go to jail along with him and stand by him, even if he doesn’t want to come out and support the community.
The Humsafar Trust—the oldest LGBTQ organization in India—was also disappointed with Karan’s action. In a statement released to the press, the trust said:
To come out is Karan’s personal choice, but he should not misinform. His present statement encourages homophobia and gay bashing to bully the LGBT community in private and public spaces.
We wonder what Karan has to say about this ire that he has received!